Title

Breaking the Cycle of Violence in Mexico and Central America

Author Information

International Crisis Group

Date of Publication

2021 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Transnational Organized Crime

Keywords

Covid-19, Mexico, Central America, Northern Triangle, drug cartels, gangs, organized crime, illicit markets, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras

Description

“For the past decade, Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – have been among the world’s most violent nations. Organised crime and vigilante “self-defence” groups have engaged in bloody battles to control illicit markets, chiefly but not exclusively the drug trade and extortion rackets. Authorities have responded by relying heavily on military force, leading in certain cases to extrajudicial executions and other abuses perpetrated by state security personnel. With the exception of El Salvador, violence across the region continued at high levels in 2020 as criminals quickly adapted to the changes wrought by COVID-19, tightening their grip upon local economies, politics and people. The economic devastation caused by the pandemic and two hurricanes is likely to exacerbate the conditions that make the region’s ground so fertile for drug cartels and gangs: poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, as well as state corruption."

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Breaking the Cycle of Violence in Mexico and Central America

“For the past decade, Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – have been among the world’s most violent nations. Organised crime and vigilante “self-defence” groups have engaged in bloody battles to control illicit markets, chiefly but not exclusively the drug trade and extortion rackets. Authorities have responded by relying heavily on military force, leading in certain cases to extrajudicial executions and other abuses perpetrated by state security personnel. With the exception of El Salvador, violence across the region continued at high levels in 2020 as criminals quickly adapted to the changes wrought by COVID-19, tightening their grip upon local economies, politics and people. The economic devastation caused by the pandemic and two hurricanes is likely to exacerbate the conditions that make the region’s ground so fertile for drug cartels and gangs: poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, as well as state corruption."